Monday, March 14, 2011

Nuclear Leak

I have received many texts warning me about the nuclear leak after explosions rocked a nuclear power plant damaged by the tsunami last Friday. Text like these, especially coming from concerned friends, can really be worrying. Fortunately, the government released official statements assuring us that the radiation leakage was so minimal that it would not reach the Philippines.

My daughter was also concerned because her teacher also received the text. I assured my daughter that if ever nuclear radiation would reach the Philippines, we would not be able to do anything about it. "Why?" She asked me. "Radiation could pass through walls, could pass through almost anything. The only material that I know that could stop radiation is lead. We do not have lead suits nor is our house lined with lead. So, we would not be able to do anything. If ever we would be irradiated, just smile and continue doing what you are doing."

In 1986 we also had this scare when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded due to an overload. I heard the news on TV. I remember I was taking a bath in the rain and then running back in the house because I was afraid of the radiation. My friends were puzzled. I told them about the chernobyl exlosion. They did not care. Anyway, even though there was fear that the radiation could reach the atmosphere producing radio active rain, it did not happen. Though definitely, it did scare some of us.

My pupils were asking if this is the end of the world...I always answer, "its not. " Humanity had survived worst disasters than these. I like Martin Luther's attitude about the end of times. When he was asked what he would do if Armageddon comes, to which Luther replied, "I will plant tress."

Time like these, during disasters, we are awakened with a sense of helplessness.... a sense of proportion of who we are and what our limitations are, which we sometimes forget because of our advancemes in the sciences and in technology.

This is not the end of the world. I believe humanity will go on to reach the stars….

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